First-Time Unemployment Claims Rise Sharply

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States reported that 965,000 U.S. workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending Jan. 9, against a backdrop of elevated coronavirus caseloads, renewed business restrictions and surging layoffs. The total number of workers continuing to claim unemployment benefits rose to 5.2 million. More than 18 million people are receiving some type of unemployment aid. Economists expect a labor-market rebound as vaccines are distributed more widely, but caution that the labor market outlook could get worse before it gets better.

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